Frequently Asked Questions for Transportation Employees
Here's a list of commonly asked questions for Transportation Employees.
As drivers and attendants continue to inquire on work assignments during the scheduled virtual return to school, please know that leadership has advised us that there are no plans to furlough employees at this time. Leadership is looking at ways to incorporate drivers into a plan that will support our students during distance learning and is working with a committee to define such duties. As soon as these plans are finalized, drivers and attendants will be notified.
PermaSafe Safety Data Sheets
How do I know if the PermaSafe chemicals applied by Newington and West Ox Garages are safe? What are the ingredients? Please review the PermaSafe Protective Coatings Safety Data Sheets.
Physical Exam Reminder
Are you due for a physical exam? Driver physicals are due during their birth month; there are no exceptions. If a driver has an issue with medical documentation or scheduling their exam they should let their supervisor know, and contact Virginia Sellers, Employee Testing and Compliance Specialist. Please review the Physical Exam Reminder.
VIREX Safety Data Sheet
How do I know if the VIREX chemical I am using is safe? What are the ingredients? Please review the VIREX One Step Disinfectant Safety Data Sheet.
CEM Thermometer Operating Instructions
Do you have any guidance in using the FCPS assigned thermometer? Please review the CEM Thermometer Operating Instructions.
I filed for unemployment and was awarded money. Later I received a letter stating I was ineligible or disqualified and must repay the money. Why did I receive the money if I wasn’t eligible?
Due to the pandemic and the high volume of claims being submitted to the VEC, the VEC was directed to suspend their normal verification processes and pay claims. Under normal circumstances (non-pandemic), VEC would determine eligibility before paying any benefits. However, due to the pandemic, VEC paid many claims out, and then later determined those claims to be ineligible. View additional information.
Clarification with loading the bus from the rear to the front during both morning and afternoon. Please adhere to the following practice.
In the afternoon, student loading should be the same as in the morning. Fill the bus from the rear as students are released to the bus. Do not assign students by a bus stop, it’s too confusing and takes too much time. Drivers may assign seats as the routes allow; however, this is not a requirement.
As a driver for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), am I responsible for removing all the snow and/or ice from the roof and hood of my vehicle before leaving the parking area?
As a driver for FCPS, you are responsible for removing all the snow and/or ice from the roof and hood of your vehicle before leaving the parking area. Snow and ice coming off your hood can impair your own visibility as it blows onto your windshield and can be a danger to other motorists and pedestrians. Snow and ice falling or blowing from your roof can be extremely dangerous to other motorists and to pedestrians. The Office of Transportation Services (OTS) understands completely how difficult it can be to remove snow and, especially, ice. Therefore, whenever possible, cold start teams will use the provided roof rakes to assist with this process. Starting the bus and warming it up also makes removal easier. You should have access to roof rakes. If you do not or if you need instruction on how to use the rake, please see your bus driver supervisor. If you cannot remove the snow and/or ice, you should contact the dispatch office for assistance.
Will I be charged with a preventable accident if I don’t remove all the snow and/or ice from the roof and hood of my vehicle?
You will not be charged with a preventable accident unless an accident occurs as a result of your failure to remove snow and/or ice. However, you could receive a reprimand for failure to follow OTS directions.
Since there is no specific “law” against snow and/or ice removal, can I get a ticket from a police officer?
A police officer could ticket any driver for failure to remove the snow/ice from a vehicle if they believe the failure to do so poses damage to other drivers. Therefore, while we recognize that the removal of snow/ice is difficult, it is important to be a responsible driver, citizen, and representative of FCPS by taking this precaution seriously.
Can I use Administrative Leave for the COVID vaccine?
All contracted biweekly and monthly paid employees who have a COVID vaccine appointment scheduled during their regular scheduled work hours must enter administrative leave in MyTime. Leave time should include all time away from work for administration of the vaccine along with time traveling to and from the appointment. On the Time off Calendar, employees must enter the following: under Type select ADMIN LV – Administrative Leave, for Reason – select Other and in the Comment Box enter “COVID Vaccination Appointment.”
Hourly employees working a regular/established schedule are encouraged to schedule a vaccination appointment outside of their assigned work hours when possible. In situations where vaccination appointments overlap with assigned work hours, up to 1 hour of time may be submitted on the weekly timesheet in MyTime to cover the vaccination appointment. Please consult with your immediate supervisor prior to your scheduled appointment.
Are temperature checks still required or being discontinued?
Temperature checks in FCPS are being discontinued for the following reasons:
- CDC does not currently recommend schools conduct screening of all students K-12 on a routine (e.g., daily) basis
- Symptom screening will identify only that a person might be sick, not that the person necessarily has COVID-19
- Accuracy of thermometers is limited in extreme temperatures
CDC recommends that parents, caregivers, or guardians (“caregivers”) should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening. CDC states that students who are sick should not attend school in person.
What is the pay for a scheduled cold start?
A scheduled cold start will be paid at the employee's regular rate with a guarantee of four hours. This assignment is considered a planned work assignment.
Am I able to renew my Commercial Driver License (CDL) online?
Yes, DMV recently announced that CDL drivers can renew their licenses online as long as they do not fall within any of the categories below. This began on November 19, 2020.
The following customers are not eligible to renew online:
- Limited Duration CDL Holders, customers temporarily authorized to be in the United States
- CDL holders with a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (X,H)
- CDL holders who have not provided acceptable proof of legal presence; more information can be found at the DMV website
- Individual is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry
- CDL holders who are 75 or older
- Customers whose privilege to drive is suspended or revoked
- Customers whose credential has expired over a year
If you are required to visit a DMV customer service center and complete a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Application DL2P to renew your commercial driver's license, you will also be required to pass the vision screening and a new photograph will be taken. You may also renew your driver's license at any of DMV's mobile offices. Check the DMV calendar for visits in your area.
Are drivers permitted to make work arrangements at their schools?
Programs involving bus transportation must be approved by the RAS and must be assigned by the area office. Assignments involving school office/building support must be assigned via the job match or assigned by your immediate supervisor. Drivers should not solicit their own work assignments.
What are the daily expectations for drivers and attendants regarding driving their routes and other assigned tasks? There is inconsistency between the required assignments in different teams.
Drivers and attendants are required to perform work for all scheduled hours paid. If you have concerns about inconsistencies in your area, please contact your Operations Manager or Coordinator.
Some drivers have elementary aged students or students with disabilities that are participating in virtual learning. Are they required to take leave?
If work assigned is not accepted, the employee must take approved leave. Your child may accompany you on a bus assignment as we have done traditionally. If the employee’s child needs supervision to participate in virtual learning, the employee needs to make childcare arrangements.
What is the protocol for drivers and attendants to gain building access during this time to utilize the bathrooms?
Individual schools and school buildings may have different restrictions based on health guidelines for that building. These restrictions are based on health guidelines to protect you as well as the public. We have confirmed with the principal Action Team Leads today that area offices will inform each school of their assigned bus drivers and attendants. When requesting entry into an FCPS building, drivers and attendants must have proper FCPS identification, wear a face covering, and activate the main school door buzzer. Announce who they are to gain access into the building and access the bathroom that is identified for use. Please do not roam throughout the school. If you are not familiar with the bathroom location, please inquire with school staff.
Is our sick leave charged while we are self-quarantined due to work related exposure?
Employees in this scenario can apply for the use of additional sick leave under the EPSL (up to 2 weeks of pay/leave). In this pandemic, the current quarantine length is two weeks. If the employee becomes ill, they can transition the claim to STD (with Lincoln Financial).
Will FCPS be providing access to testing?
COVID testing is now available for qualifying employees through the Fairfax County Health Department.
Would a COVID diagnosis qualify for workers' compensation, as it could take months to recover and greatly decimate leave?
Please contact Human Resources at 571-423-3000 for questions regarding COVID related workers’ compensation.
Will transportation employees get hazard pay since there is no option of working virtual?
Effective July 13, 2020, FCPS is no longer operating under Condition 1B, Schools and All Offices Closed due to National Public Health Emergency. Callback emergency compensation will no longer be authorized for nonexempt contracted employees who are public facing/public engaging. Guidance from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia are being followed by FCPS. Every reasonable precaution is being made to keep all students and staff as safe as possible as we re-open our schools and communities. If an employee feels that he/she cannot safely return to work, information about leave programs for employees who cannot return to work or for whom telework is unavailable can be found on the Employee Resources website.
Can I work another job while getting paid by FCPS?
You should not be employed by anyone other than FCPS during the hours that you are normally working for FCPS; while you are still being paid (employed) by FCPS.